Wanting to know who I am

I walked out of the office tonight to perhaps my least favorite kind of weather. The temperature hovered just above freezing. Sheets of large, heavy raindrops marched through the illumination of street lights, buffeted on an increasingly strong wind. My lack of umbrella was practically inconsequential. This was the kind of weather that comes at you from all angles, mocking protection from above.


My path from the front door of my office building to the parking garage can’t be more than a few hundred yards, but by the time I arrived at my truck, my shoulders were hunched, my hair glistening with nearly frozen moisture. I hopped in the driver’s seat, plugged my iPhone into the truck’s stereo system and hit shuffle.

Now I don’t often subscribe to talk of fate, but there are times when I think my iPhone has some sort of subliminal connection to my brain. As my finger lifted off the play arrow, the acoustic flourish of the Goo Goo Dolls Iris made its rising entrance through the speakers. Have you ever heard a song and — from the very first note — feel as if it were written by someone sharing your soul? Well, Iris is that song for me. It is one of the most instrumentally stirring rock songs ever penned, and its lyrics speak to me like no other. The lyrics and music blend perfectly to convey both desperation and hope, isolation and connection.


And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am


When John Rzeznik sings the chorus, I hear a soul unsure of its place in the world, a soul whose past is peppered with loss and dissolution. But in this desperation hides a soul that has found a kindred spirit, someone to walk with through the chaos.


So tonight, the cold, rainy night outside my truck disappeared, as my ride home was warmed by thoughts of those fellow souls who have wanted to know who I am.